CNN Poll: Economic optimism jumping
July 3rd, 2012
04:00 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN Poll: Economic optimism jumping

Washington (CNN) - Although most Americans think that the economy is currently in poor shape, economic optimism has skyrocketed since last fall, according to a new national poll.

And a CNN/ORC International poll released Tuesday also indicates that while voters are divided on whether President Barack Obama or Republican challenger Mitt Romney would do a better job on the economy, Romney holds an edge among crucial independent voters in the race for the White House.

Full results (pdf)

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"Americans are usually optimists, but in 2011, polls for the first time found that more than half the country thought that economic conditions would worsen in the next 12 months," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Now that trend has reversed itself, with only four in ten saying that the economy will be in poor shape a year from now."

Sixty percent of those questioned say the economy will be in good shape next year, a surge from 39% who felt that way last October. Despite that jump, three-quarters say that current economic conditions are poor, a slight worsening of opinion since May, but better than where things stood in January.

"Not surprisingly, the poll indicates that the economy's the public's top issue, the only topic that more than half say will be extremely important to their presidential vote in November," adds Holland.

The economy's been the top issue on the minds of American voters since late 2007.

Health care runs a close second, followed by the deficit, education, unemployment and terrorism. The survey was conducted Thursday through Sunday, immediately after the Supreme Court's ruling upholding the national heath care law.

Who would better handle the number-one issue?

Forty-eight percent of registered voters say the president would better handle the economy, with 47% saying Romney would do a better job.

"The economy remains the number-one concern to voters, but neither President Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney have an edge on that issue among registered voters nationwide," Holland says. "The groups that think Romney would do a better job - higher-income Americans, men, and older voters - and counterbalanced by lower-income Americans, women, and younger voters who give the edge to Obama. Fifty-two percent of independents think Romney would do a better job on the economy."

The economy and jobs has dominated the first three months of the Obama-Romney general election showdown.

The poll indicates Romney has a ten point advantage on which candidate would do a better job dealing with the federal budget deficit, with Obama holding an eight point advantage on foreign policy and a seven point advantage on health care. Romney holds a three point margin on illegal immigration.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from June 28-July 1, with 1,517 adult Americans, including 1,390 registered voters nationwide, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. FauxNews

    It's a great time for an optimism poll, since the poorest Americans are without power or phone service.

    July 3, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    RE: U.S. TREATIES, read the conditions of treaties that clearly state when we do business with foreign countries "their names must be revealed". so why are Karl Rove and others who have secret foreign campaign donors allowed to not reveal their names. I don't think this was the intent of the Justices when they ruled on campaign financing. SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN THAT TO ME.

    July 3, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  3. keith

    to WireweirdinSF: MIght just look back to Dubya's second win if you want to look at stealing an election.

    July 3, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. Correct123

    Romney should be 10 points ahead, given the ailing economy, but he's 3 points behind. People DO NOT TRUST Romney. PERIOD.

    July 3, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Investment Advisor

    No thanks to Obama...Claudia , Houston, TX...Your lips are moving but you're not saying any thing NEW! Same old Blah, Blah, Blah,....................................................................................Blah, Blah, Blah...........................................................................!

    July 3, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. D.L. Kisting

    I'd rather not vote for either one of them. It will be the lesser of 2 evils.

    July 3, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. Alex in Wisconsin

    I guess the majority of the all-important independents woke up from their 8 year coma on January 21, 2008. Romney's economic policies are the exact same policies that George W Bush was pushing before the financial system collapsed. How anybody thinks that the policies that turned surplusses into deficits, a healthy economy into a slow growing economy, collapsed Wall St., and caused thedesttruction of 20 years of wealth growth in a 4 year span of time will work wonders a second time around is baffling. Obama 2012, he didn't actually blow up the economy and 20 years worth of wealth lost can't be recovered in less than 3 years.

    July 3, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. davidasleep

    For who? Big lies. Tired of them. Come out to the Reservation here in Navajo Country. . .no jobs, no money. . .86 percent unemployment. . .no food for the kids. . .Not So Great Depression

    July 3, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. Jack Deal

    hype and fluff change hourly and so does the wind...where are the real positive economic signs? and Americans criticize Mexicans for being stupid? and immigrants the cause of our ills? that's as stupid as is $5 lettuce...it doesn't matter if it's Romney or Obama it's all the same now...all have sold out to special interests and the average American is just looking for who will give them a fatter promise....and of course those promises aren't "lies"...they are just good ole boy politics...look at the article just below this one on the IMF saying 'better pump up the economy right now or face the consequences'...we already are facing the consequences!

    July 3, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. James Ruston

    More bad news for the Republicans.

    July 3, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. Independent For President Obama

    Happy Fourth of July everyone. What a Great Country we live in. Have a safe day.

    July 3, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    ""ht want to actually look at the survey. It clearly states how many respondents we from land-line and cell phones."

    Wasn't posted at the time. I could've missed it, but I'm pretty sure there was no link yet.

    July 3, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. MTATL67

    I am currently employed and have always been optimistic even after losing my job just after buying my first home 2 years ago. I do not sit around worrying that I'm going to lose my job because I know that I survived it once and could survive it again. I REJECT the Republicans doom and gloom, my God who wants to live like that.

    July 3, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. Mary - Dallas

    The economy would have been much better if the GOP had worked with Obama putting his policies in place. Rather they obstructed everything he proposed in spite of his eagerness to please them & work with them. GOP focused more on sinking the economy to blame it on Obama for a chance to regain the White House – after all; they all said it as soon as he became the president that “He will be a one term president”. This really baffles me how these adults continued to behave like immature individuals to ruin one person’s presidency instead of helping the entire people in the country who they are supposed to help.

    July 3, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  15. farphanguyen

    Lies all lies. Where ever your getting your info / poll readings from is full of it. Economic optisim HA! I say sarcastically. our economy is at the brink and when the taxs for our governmentally maindated health care comes into play you can count on the economy to sink further below the mark.

    July 3, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. soul68

    I don't know how any middle class person could even consider voting for Romney. The guy isn't a shred like they are, and it's clear he's fine with sending American jobs overseas.

    Bottom line is, once the middle class in the US dies, so does everything else. When there aren't any more people with disposable income to buy goods and services, it's all over for the US.

    We need a president who will defend the middle class and do whatever it takes to force/incentivize companies to hire workers in the US.

    July 3, 2012 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. Alex in Wisconsin

    guess the majority of the all-important independents woke up from their 8 year coma on January 21, 2008. Romney's economic policies are the exact same policies that George W Bush was pushing before the financial system collapsed. How anybody thinks that the policies that turned surplusses into deficits, a healthy economy into a slow growing economy, collapsed Wall St., and caused the desttruction of 20 years of wealth growth in a 4 year span of time will work wonders a second time around is baffling. Obama 2012, he didn't actually blow up the economy and 20 years worth of wealth lost can't be recovered in less than 3 years.

    July 3, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. jon

    What do people mean "the economy stinks?"' This is ridiculous. Taxes have not gone up during the past 4 years, companies are flush with money even though they are not hiring, banks are flush with money even though they are not lending, rich people have done really well lately, and are flush with money even though they are not letting it "trickle down", etc, etc. The unemployment rate admittedly is about 3% higher than the usual 5% which it runs at even during better times. If Congress would get out of the way and let some of the country's infrastructure work be funded and begin, the unemployment rate would drop even further. So, except for the racists still not being able to believe that we elected a black man as President, and for those 92% of persons presently working, what's the beef?? Most people in other countries are doing much worse economically. Check it out.

    July 3, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. Log Cabin

    The economy always does better under a Democrat. I fear that the corporations are going to push Mitt "I like firing people" Romney into office and put us right back into the ditch.

    July 3, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. Larry L

    President Obama deserves credit for guiding America out of Bush's recession without anything but obstructionism from Republicans. Nothing is a better example of the economic terrorism used by Republicans than the 0ver 130 filibusters in the Senate used to help Mitch McConnell keep his only goal of making President Obama a one-term President. They've put politics ahead of the good of American working people every time.

    July 3, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    "20 years worth of wealth lost can't be recovered in less than 3 years."

    It wasn't lost. We know exactly where it is. It's like this: the GOP/Teatrolls took a water balloon and squeezed it on one end...that's precisely what they did to the wealth distribution in this country with their policies and promises of magic fairyland trickle-down supply-side unicorns farting red white and blue rainbows deregulatory economics making everyone wealthy. That's what their policies and ideological knee-jerk answers to every single issue will do to the economy and the country's wealth distribution EVERY TIME IT IS TRIED. Just watch...AND PAY ATTENTION.

    July 3, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. Charlie in Maine

    Every time Mittens sinks in the polls my optimism goes up. Obama was the man, is the man and for the next term will be the man.
    Then I am hoping Hillary is the woman... but ine election at a time.

    July 3, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  23. Walter

    Time and time again "experts" on the pulse of the economy have been wrong. Now we're to believe our fellow citizens?

    July 3, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  24. bill

    Who is the guy with the squinty eyes.

    July 3, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  25. craig

    The average American is an idiot, first for thinking the economy is on the up swing and for deciding between romney and obama. Both those two ass clowns are puppets of the banks and corporations. Until America stops voting for the democrat / republican losers we will never get out of our hole (its most likely to late anyway).

    July 3, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
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